Front, back, and side views of iPhone 4 in black

Following a five-year fight over marketing manager David Lysgaard’s faulty iPhone 4 he bought in 2011 from, the Glostrup District Court has ruled that Apple did violate the Danish Sale of Goods Act by giving the man a “remanufactured” device instead of the brand new phone he was entitled to in accordance with local law, reported Friday. Apple’s warranty terms state that refurbs use either brand new parts or those that are equivalent to new in performance and reliability.

“One shakes a bit when you receive a summons from one of the world’s biggest companies. That’s not something you experience every day,” Lysgaard told TV2. “But the more Apple stepped up, the more stubborn I became.”

The case isn’t about a personal vendetta, he said.

“It’s about large companies needing to follow the laws that we have. It’s also about how many other regular people in Denmark have been through something similar but have just ended up accepting that things are just as Apple says they are,” he told TV2.

A trio of judges determined that Lysgaard, under the the Danish Sale of Goods Act, was entitled to a brand new model or his money back because refurbished devices may contain recycled parts that could result in a lower resale value.

“After a comprehensive review, the court finds that David Lysgaard had a warranted expectation of receiving a brand-new product equivalent to the original purchase,” the court said. “The remanufactured phone that David Lysgaard was given could contain reused modules so the phone cannot qualify as brand new.”

Lawyers for Apple argued it’s better from the environment standpoint to reuse parts from defective or damaged models to refurbish iPhones and iPads. The company insisted that the refurbished device Lysgaard received was as good as new.

Apple will probably appeal the judgment with a higher court. The Cupertino firm’s always maintained that refurbished phones are good as new.

Apple even backs refurbs with its standard 1-year warranty.

“Before we put a refurbished Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod, or Apple TV up for sale, it undergoes a rigorous refurbishment process to make sure it’s up to Apple’s high standards,” reads a notice on the refurbished Apple online store.

“We back it with our standard one-year limited warranty. And you have the option of purchasing AppleCare to extend your coverage further.”

Should the court’s ruling be upheld, Apple may need to revisit its stance, especially as the case could set a major precedent in important European markets and force the firm to replace faulty iPhones with brand new devices in the future.

In another David vs. Goliath case, Apple suffered a defeat against a woman who sued it over a similar instance of being given a refurbished handset to replace her damaged iPhone 6 Plus. A judge in Amsterdam sided with her complaint and ordered that Apple replace the faulty device with a brand new, not a refurbished model.

Source: (Google Translate)

  • Jon20

    So I wonder if out of spite, Apple will give him a brand new iPhone 4. That would be funny.

    • Alex Wilson

      That would be a classic moment.

    • gqukyo

      I would love to have a brand new iphone 4. There are collectors out there and ones who care about a story behind the item. Lol

  • Anonymouse

    It would be even funnier if it had version 10.1.1. installed. Apple changed their warranty on refurbs from what was 3 months to one year not that long ago and you couldn’t get apple care applied. I wonder when the new macbook or iphone 7 was released, how would sales go if they were branded refurb instead of brand new and came in a plain white box? Same thing according to the company. I find it difficult to not laugh at that company comment. Replacing brand new devices under warranty with a refurb is a con job imo, they have a refurb store, sell them there. the Danes have good law it seems. Good report here Christian.

    • Reg Guy

      But wow…a five year fight? This must have turned into a hobby/obsession for this guy!

      • Anonymouse

        If you’re familiar with the legal system, generally there would only be a couple of appearances in court. The rest of the time in between you go about your normal business and may even forget until 12-24 odd months later you receive a letter advising to attend court for the decision.

  • Denver Morgan

    They replaced mine with a refurbish afterwards the screen didnt feel the same.

    • BasedOnAir

      They are sub par in my experience as well. I bought an iCloud locked iPhone for cheap just to transplant it’s genuine screen to my broken iPhone once. Worked like a charm and I have extra parts too.

      Later on with a different iPhone the screen cracked on, I bought another iCloud locked iPhone for $40 that was almost brand new, and transplanted my iPhone’s logic board into the locked iPhone and it worked perfectly. I literally replace the entire phone around my iPhone’s motherboard this way not just the screen. Booted right up and the iPhone never knew the difference. Didn’t even have to restore software or anything.

  • :D

    I summonsed one of the world’s biggest companies for something not too long ago. It wasn’t easy – they put up a really good fight, I’ll give them that. It was a team of experts against me lol. But it was always really about the concept. We shouldn’t sit back and accept something that’s right. I’m really happy for this guy – not because he got a new phone but because he held his ground and pulled through.

  • BasedOnAir

    In 2012 Apple replaced a ballooning battery on my old 2008 MacBook (white) with a brand new battery no questions asked in a retail Apple Store… No charge at all, completely free, just a signature for receiving the battery and I was on my way. The whole process took 5 minutes and I didn’t even have an appointment. I didn’t even ask for it I just wanted to know what was wrong and he took it behind the counter to check something I thought, and returned in 90 seconds with a brand new boxed battery that he unsealed in front of me. The special thing about this transaction was that my MacBook had been out of warranty for 3 years and had no AppleCare.

    • EDiTOR9

      What. The. Funk.

      TMI dude.

      • BasedOnAir


    • Alex Wilson

      So how did you prepare those 300 Red Cherry Shrimp? Do you quick fry or are they more like a crock pot item? Any special sauce that was used? I’m thinking that a Sweet Chili Sauce would have been the perfect match. Because why cry over spilled Shrimp when you can make a wonderful Red Cherry Shrimp Cocktail. Now that sounds delicious.

      Seriously you were golden (though off topic) for the first five sentences, then you lost it, we’re taking going off the deep end of the aquarium.

    • Liggerstuxin

      I accidentally dropped my iPad 2 on some dumbbells. My iPad was two months old and I had no warranty. They completely replaced it for free. If anything, it seems like the AppleCare warranty limits their actions more than it improves them.

      • BasedOnAir

        How did you have no warranty if it was 2 months old? Did u buy it brand new?

      • Liggerstuxin

        What I meant was I had no AppleCare. And AppleCare does not cover accidental damage anyway. I should have been more specific. I acknowledge that I accidentally damaged my iPad and may just simply replaced it.

      • BasedOnAir

        So are you saying the normal warranty got you a free replacement for accidental damage?

      • Liggerstuxin

        That is exactly what I’m saying. And AppleCare does not cover accidental damage. It only covers manufacturers defect. Which is covered by a one year warranty regardless. AppleCare or not. I have read multiple stories where people with Extended warranties had to pay for their accidental damage; whereas people who had accidental damage with no extra coverage got complete replacements. If you do a simple Google search you will find this happens over and over again. For this reason I always recommend that my friends and family do not get AppleCare.

      • Liggerstuxin

        Sorry for the late reply but that’s exactly what I’m saying. And if I had AppleCare I would’ve had to been boxed in by their terms and conditions. Considering I had no warrantee it was up to their discretion what to do.

      • Liggerstuxin

        I had no AppleCare. And AppleCare does not cover accidental damage. They don’t have any warranty that covers accidental damage. Their warranty is only cover manufactures defect.

  • Agneev Mukherjee

    Apple must replace a Danish man’s iPhone with a new unit rather than a refurbished model

    Whoa, that’s a very crude remark!

  • M_Hawke

    I agree with the ruling. I had a three-month old 5s. Headphone jack went bad. Got a refurb with only 3 mos warranty. 5 mos later, developed the dreaded red pixel problem in the camera. Now faced a $235 bill to fix it or more money to upgrade. Shafted. I paid for a new phone, I should have received one back under warranty.

  • “Before we put a refurbished Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod, or Apple TV up for
    sale, it undergoes a rigorous refurbishment process to make sure it’s up
    to Apple’s high standards,”

    That “rigorous” process must include 80% or lower capacity batteries, missing lighting pins, and touch disease. And these are just a few I have experienced. Refurbished from apple means junk to me.